An hour before dawn Alias and Quin were awoken from their bunks by a great tumult in the streets outside the Abbey. The black fog, which still surrounded the city had breached the city walls. The street was crowded with panicked citizenry, all fleeing to the Grand Sooq to seek the protection of their City-God’s.
Alias and Quin spoke quickly with the Abbess, who assured them that they were to have held counsel with the City-Gods this very morning, but the appointment was surely all the more urgent now than it was last night. The Abbess reported that Sumonel’s caravan had concluded its business in the city and departed last evening. This morning it had returned, pulled by it’s lizards but Sumonel and his escort were all dead and nailed to the sides of their wagons. The fog had returned with the slain caravan and it was then that it had began to pour over the walls and pool in the streets within the city.
Alias and Quin joined the panicked masses and rushed to the Grand Sooq. They took up a vantage point on an upper balcony at the Wyvern Tavern just in time to witness the High Priest of Kin-Yhakkor announce that he welcomed the black fog and invited it into the city and into his own body. The priest walked into the air above the crowd and had clearly become possessed by, or was in league with, the black evil that now threatened all.
Alias was outraged and fired an arrow into the priest’s shoulder just as the High Priest immolated five members of the crowd in an unholy black fire and raised them into the air to form a pentacle of living, burning flesh in the air above the crowd – with himself as the blackly burning center of the symbol. Alias was the first chosen for this fatal honor and only a desperate prayer to Shoshanna saved the human from a similar fate.
This act of betrayal and black magic was too much for the panicked crowd and chaos erupted. The people began to stampede and flee for cover. Templars abandoned their posts. A lion and several pit jackals escaped and wreaked further havoc. A group of elven slavers were overcome and beaten to death by their human slaves on the block. Many citizens were trampled and killed or injured.
Alias and Quin were dumbfounded and only able to witness the mounting horror unfolding below them and above them from their vantage point on the tavern balcony. Eventually several units of templars began to organize; archers on rooftops and in alleyways opened fire on the burning pentacle but to no effect.
Quin gained their attention by launching a terrific magical bolt of ice at the High Priest – ice which melted at the first touch of the black fire. The templars demanded that the two foreigners accompany them immediately to the Temple to an audience with the city-gods. Although this had been their original intent, Alias and Quin became concerned that the audience would now not go well for them.
Arah, still disguised as a jackal, began to plead with Alias to take the Book of Stars to the dark temple beneath the streets – she concluded that the book must be holy to Shoshanna and perhaps it would sanctify the temple at its core.
The templars would brook no discussion and escorted the pair around the perimeter of the chaotic marketplace. Alias was convinced by Arah’s logic and begged the Templars to come with him to the hidden dungeon beneath the streets.
They would not listen, but they did listen to Quin – or at least some of them did. And, as they approached the intersection with Patriots Way, Quin engulfed everyone in a magical obscuring mist. Together with several defecting Templars, Alias, Quin and Arah fled, successfully escaping into the confusion.
They rushed through a city in crisis as quickly as they could to the derelict building they had explored yesterday. Once in the dark cathedral beneath the streets, they made their way up the macabre secret passage into the womb of the dark goddess. There they were confronted once again by the demonic imp that had first crossed their path at the witch’s tower in the desert.
A deadly fight ensued. The demon cut its own wrist and summoned more of wrath-demons from its own spilled blood. Alias fought hard to hold his ground against the demon, taunting it into facing him, but then struggling to withstand its deadly barrage of magic and poisoned talons.
Quin battled the summoned demons making quick work of them with the enchanted dagger she had found in the crater lake. The Templars fought flying skulls that animated and attacked from the pool at the center of the womb-chamber.
Arah, took the Book of Stars and with it she dived into the waters of the pulpit pool, disappearing from sight and telepathic contact. Alias, Quin and the surviving Templars quickly followed.
Adapted by Ian Hewitt from the adventure Irilian by Daniel Collerton
Game Master (Ian Hewitt)
Played at the tabletop in Laramie, Wyoming